It's my story: helping care-experienced young people give effective media interviews
How the media operates
All good news stories start by people asking questions. So it can be useful to open this section by getting young people to think about this process by asking them to be interviewers and interviewees.
Ask young people to divide into pairs and interview each other, and then feed back that information in the most lively and interesting ways. Use the questions from Slides 5 or create your own questions which you think will be more relevant. Encourage the young people to keep their responses short and punchy.
Interview your partner – and find out
Slide 5: sample text:
- Who they are? Where do they come from?
- What do they feel about the media?
- What are they hoping to get out of today?
- Something nobody else in the room knows about them
Prepare to feed back to the group about them.
The aims of these exercises
- to increase young people’s understanding of how journalists work
- to de-mystify the media by helping young people realise that journalists are simply people asking questions
- to help young people realise that both the journalist and the interviewee can make choices and take control of the interview
- to help young people recognise that they do not have to be passive in their interactions with the media but can be instrumental in creating change.
It can be helpful to remind young people that journalists are human beings too! They have their own families, friends, interests and personal issues. Sometimes a journalist is interested in following up a story because it is close to their own heart – for example, an issue that has affected their family or friends. Sometimes journalists are interested in a story because they know nothing about the story and want to find out more.
Although the word ‘journalist’ is used in many parts of this training as a catch-all expression, there are many different job titles within the media. It can be helpful to mention these different roles because young people may come across different media staff in different situations. A young person may be approached by a researcher for a programme and later interviewed by the presenter for the programme, or several presenters. In a television studio there may a couple of presenters and quite a large crew of camera operators, sound engineers, lighting people and so on.
Who are ‘the media’?
Slide 6: sample text:
- Made up of real people (believe it or not!)
- Journalists, reporters, broadcasters,
- News readers, presenters, editors, directors, programme makers, researchers etc
- Also camera operators, lighting people, sound engineers, make up artists, location scouts, runners etc
Slide 7 can be used to help young people understand the different types of media. The more comfortable they feel with the basic jargon surrounding the media, the more it de-mystifies the media and the more confident they will feel about giving interviews.
Types of media
Slide 7: sample text:
- Broadcast media is TV and radio
- Print media is newspaper and mags
- New media is websites, chat rooms, blogs and ‘social networking’ e.g. Bebo, MySpace, Facebook
This training is about broadcast media. But if you can give a good interview to the broadcast media this will help you give good interviews to other media